Summary and Conclusions

To summarize the results presented here, long-term trends in concentrations of various atmospheric species provide a reasonable and consistent constraint on the net fluxes of carbon into the ocean and terrestrial biosphere at global scales. At regional scales the picture becomes more confused and the constraint weaker. Agreement over the southern hemisphere oceans appears to be the strongest, at least when considered as a whole. There is less agreement for the rest of the globe, with substantial uncertainty remaining in the partition of net uptake between land and ocean.

There is still less agreement about the temporal patterns of source variability derived from aggregated fluxes compared to atmospheric measurements. In general, the predominant role for the terrestrial biosphere suggested by both process-based models and flux measurements is not consistent with estimates from atmospheric concentrations. Such estimates are at the limit of current data and inversion techniques. Better observations of concentration over continents, as well as a more closely integrated inversion framework, should shed a clearer light on this problem in the coming years.

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